Whenever it rains in Southern California, people always tell me the same things just in different ways. “Where’s your jacket?” “Don’t forget an umbrella!” “Bundle up, dear, it’s chilly outside.”
It doesn’t rain very often where I live. Actually, rain is so scarce that we are in a drought. So when it does rain, my priority is not to stay warm (though it is probably a good idea). My goal is to experience the rain. I don’t want to get sucked into the frenzy of staying out of the rain. Rain doesn’t come often, and it sure doesn’t stay long, so when it does come I just want to be there. There in that moment. Not worrying about getting cold or wet or sick.
A few weekends ago, I flew up to Seattle to visit my sister. I don’t know if you know this but in Seattle, or Washington in general, it rains a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean that it rains and rains and rains and rains. It rains so much that when the sun does come out, most people have forgotten what the warmth of the sun feels like. But what I realized when I was in Seattle is that, it rains so much that people get used to it. They learn to be unaffected by it. They start to think it’s annoying instead of seeing its beauty. They ultimately forget to experience the rain.
Think about this: have you ever stopped to smell the rain? I know that sounds crazy but one way to truly experience something is to use all of your five senses. Taste the rain. Touch the rain. Hear the rain. See the rain. And smell the rain. If you have never smelled rain before, the next time it rains, I encourage you to go outside and take a deep breath. I’ve found that, for me, the smell of rain or the smell of the city after the rain really calms me down. It’s peaceful. It has this hint of clean as if the rain just cleansed the earth. This brings me back to kindergarten. Whenever it rained, my teacher would stop whatever she was doing, no matter how important, and we would all line up in front of the door. Then we would go outside and stand right under the overhang and just smell and watch the rain. And maybe if we were lucky we would get to play in the puddles.
Now I feel like society would frown upon seeing an adult playing in the rain. Why? Why is it so weird to see someone enjoying nature? Why do we automatically think they are immature? If you saw a child jumping in puddles and trying to eat the rain, how would you feel? Would you feel happy, nostalgic? Or would you think they were immature?
Over the next season of hopefully a lot of rain, I challenge you to ignore what the world has to say about you. I challenge you to go dance in the rain, jump in some puddles, and most of all, smell the rain. See if it refreshes you and brings you peace.